Behind the Scenes with Nursery Management magazine

Departments - Behind the Scenes

September 6, 2012
NM Staff

Homegrown hops

The U.S. is in the midst of a beer renaissance, and some enterprising nurseries are beginning to take advantage.

In 1978, there were only 42 breweries in the U.S. Today, there are more than 2,000. The craft-brewing explosion has inspired more people to try brewing their own beer in their garage or basement.

Virginia-based Waynesboro Nurseries displayed its new Millenium hops at PANTS, and sales rep Josh Ellinger is excited about the potential of container-grown hops. The way he sees it, hobbyist home-brewers won’t be able to resist the allure of growing hops in their backyard. And if production ramps up, Virginia’s craft breweries may take notice of a new supplier in town.

The Millenium variety has a resistance to powdery mildew and has better tolerance to downy mildew than some similar hops.

For now, the hops venture is a miniscule part of Waynesboro Nurseries’ business. It focuses on the more than 500 varieties of ornamentals grown on its 1,200 acres. But when you’ve been in business since 1930, I think you’ve earned the right to take some chances. Cheers! ­— Matt McClellan

Fall for these plants

Did you see the marketing study in last month’s issue (pgs. 37-41)? One of the main points we highlighted from the consumer research the Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association compiled was that consumers would be eager to plant in the fall if they could find something worth planting.

Prides Corner Farms, a wholesale nursery in Lebanon, Conn., wants to get people excited about the fall planting season. Tim Kane, sales marketing and inventory manager at Prides Corner Farms, developed the Fall is Fantastic program, which was on display at PANTS.

“The research showed that consumers want to plant in fall, but they go to garden centers and all they can find is stuff at half-price, pumpkins and mums. Where’s the good stuff? Well, we have the good stuff and we’re doing our best to show the consumer how to plant in the fall and how to be more successful in their landscapes. As we know at the garden center level, selling success is always what works,” Kane said.

Check out the Fall is Fantastic plants in our video interview: